New Year! May 2007 bring you
peace, joy and lots of success in your genealogy research.
marks the 150th Anniversary of Anoka County. There are a lot of
displays and activities planned for the year.
In conjunction with this celebration, Anoka County Genealogical
Society will be focusing on Anoka County records. Our monthly meeting will
be held at other locations in the county .
5, 2007, 7:00 PM. We will be learning about Mortuary
and Funeral Records from Rick Salhus of Washburn McReavy Funeral
Chapel. We will be meeting at
Coon Rapids United Methodist Church, 10506 Hanson Blvd NW, Coon Rapids. (Just south of Coon Rapids Blvd)
5, 2007, 7:00 PM. Early Anoka County
Records. Meeting at the Fridley Historical Society, 611 Mississippi
St, Fridley (between Central & University)
topics in the planning stages: Church Records, Cemetery records, Early
for more information on the 150th Anniversary of Anoka County
at their web-site: http://www.ac-hs.org/sesqupdates.htm
There will be a lot of exciting things happening throughout Anoka
miss the Anoka County Sesquicentennial Wagon Train May 15, 2007 through
May 20, 2007
County The Early Years
organized on May 23, 1857, almost a year before Minnesota became a state,
is located in the eastern part of the state, about midway between the
northern and southern boundary limits.
It is bounded on the north by Isanti County, east of Chisago and
Washington Counties, south by Ramsey and Hennepin Counties and west by
Hennepin and Sherburne Counties, and southwest by the Mississippi River.
The first white men known to have trod the ground that became the County
of Anoka were (about 1680) Father Louis Hennepin, a Franciscan monk, and
According to the record kept
by Father Hennepin and still preserved, a band of over 100 Indians
captured them near Lake Pepin and planned to kill them, but finally
decided to keep them for slaves. A
few miles below St. Anthony Falls the canoe of the white men was destroyed
and they were compelled to walk the long weary miles to Mille Lacs Lake
where the villages of the Sioux were located.
They remained with their captors. Father Hennepin gave the river,
along whose full length they traveled, a more beautiful name than it now
bears. He called it the St. Francis (from which St. Francis Twp. took its
name), but it later became known as the Rum.
lies on both sides of the Rum River which enters the county about 20 miles
north of where it enters the Mississippi.
The first house in Anoka County was built in 1844 on the east bank
near the mouth of the Rum River by Joseph Belanger, a fur trader in the
employ of William American Fur Company on the upper Mississippi.
This building was abandoned as a fur post after a couple of years
but it was used many times, temporarily, by new settlers as one after
another came, established his own home and left the old building for
someone else's use.
traders came to the post in 1846 and 1847 and a community started to grow
as early as 1850 in the neighborhood of Anoka in what is now Ramsey
A wooden bridge, the first over the Rum, was built in 1853 and this
activity brought people to Anoka.
That same yearThe
Governor, Samuel Medary, appointed as the first board of commissioners for
Anoka County E.H. Davis, J.P. Austin and Silas O. Lum, with George W.
Putnam as clerk. These
commissioners met at Anoka and appointed the following county officers:
Sheriff, James C. Frost; Treasurer, James M. McGlauflin; Coroner,
Jos. C. Varney. Eight
townships were created: Anoka,
Watertown, Round Lake, Bethel, Columbus, St. Francis, Oak Grove and
Centerville. The name
Watertown was soon changed to Dover and a little later to Ramsey. There were only three voting precincts, Anoka, St. Francis
and Columbus. Round Lake
Township was later changed to the Town of Grow.
of Anoka County" copyright 1905
First explorer - Louis Hennepin, 1680
First mention of Rum river - By Jonathan Carver, who visited it in
First white residents - Joseph Belanger and associates, 1844
First house - A trading post built by Joseph Belanger and
associates for William Aitkin, 1844
First road - The Red River trail, crossing Rum river at the Upper
First potato crop - Raised by Capt. S.P. Folsom, 1848
First corn crop - Raised by William Noot near King's island, 1848
First breaking for permanent cultivation - Six acres in front of
I.W. Patch's house in the town of Ramsey. Broken by Cornelius Pitman,
First ferry across Rum river, 1851
First ferry across the Mississippi at Anoka - Launched Sept. 11, 1855
First bridge across Rum river - Built by Orin W. Rice, 1853
First bridge across the Mississippi - Built by Horace Horton, 1884
First sermon - Preached at the funeral of Mrs. Penuel Shumway, Jr.,
in July, 1851
First resident clergyman - Rev. Royal Twitchell, who held services
in the old trading post where he lived in 1852
First religious organization - A Methodist class organized December
First Church - Built by the Congregational Society in 1857. It
stood on the present site of St. Stephens church.
First school - Taught by Miss Julia Woodman in the "Old"
Company Boarding House, winter 1853-54
First school house - The "Third Avenue School House"
built just south of the present Library building, fall of 1855
First dam on Rum river - Begun about August 1, 1853
The first saw mill - Began running in August, 1854. The power was
supplied by the Anoka dam. The same year Charles Peltier built a saw mill
First flour mill - Begun about June 1, 1854; completed in January,
1855; burned Feb. 24, 1854
First store - That of Edward P. Shaw, built in the spring of 1854.
Mr. Shaw sold goods to some extent, however, at his father's house in the
fall of 1853
First advertisement of a business concern - That of Edward P.
Shaw's store, printed in the St. Anthony Express, June 17, 1854
First singing school - Taught by Josiah F. Clark in the winter of
First Cornet Band - Organized in 1861. Included in the membership
were James Miller, W.W. Waterman, Harvey F. Blodgett, J.F. Clark, C.H.
Houston, L.H. Hubbard, Elias Pratt, N.W. Curial and W.J Miller
First Library Association - Organized about May, 1859
First newspaper - Anoka Republican, published by A.C. and E.A.
Squire. The first issue appeared August 25, 1860
First white child born in the county - Fernando Shumway, born March
22, 1851. Died March 25, 1900
First post office - Established at Itaska in May 1852
First post office at Anoka - Established in the winter of 1853
First wedding - Harvey Richards and Laura Nichols, in the winter of